Rymbui: Edn report eye-opener for state

Shillong, June 9: Admitting that the Performance Grading Index (PGI) report, released by the Ministry of Education, is an eye opener for Meghalaya government, Education Minister Lahkmen Rymbui said the sector needs more investments for its overall development in the state.
“It is a great thing that the Ministry has been releasing this report for the past three years. This will help us analyse where we need improvement,” Rymbui told reporters on Wednesday.
At the same time, he said the state improved on its scoring in the past three years. He said it scored 564 points in 2017-2018 and 584 points in 2018-2019.
“Meghalaya has scored 649 points out of 1,000 points as per the latest PGI report. This gives an indication that we are heading in the right direction,” Rymbui said.
He asserted that the department will try to improve on the deficiencies in areas of infrastructure, facilities and training of teachers. He said the construction work of over 200 additional classrooms for LP schools, sanctioned by the state government in the last three years, has been completed.
“During the current year, 200 government schools will be upgraded with an investment of Rs 100 crore from state fund,” he said, adding 375 schools will be provided with necessary infrastructure next year.
He said around 1,000 schools across the state do not yet have a proper building.
Stating that 19,306 teachers were trained in 2020-2021 under National Initiative for School Heads and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement, he said the attendance of teachers was introduced in November 2020 under Teacher Information Management System (TIMS) application.
“We are expanding ICT and computer-aided learning in 50-plus government schools,” he said.
According to him, drinking water in the schools will be improved in collaboration with Jal Jeevan Mission.
He said the MLEAD portal state level online programme has helped increase the volume and quality of training, adding that the records of 27,342 teachers have been digitised under TIMS with a unique teacher ID. He said 4,500 teachers have been trained under ADB programme.
Asserting that the government is taking steps to ensure there is proper infrastructure in the schools, he said the Cabinet had last year approved the setting up of schools if the land measures three acres in rural areas and 2.5 acres in urban areas.
“We took this decision since we want the schools to have a proper playground and other facilities,” the Minister said.
He said 1,300 ad hoc teachers have been given permanent appointment. Education in Meghalaya is challenging since there are multiple categories of management and teachers and disparity in teachers’ salaries, he added.
Investment in education will show: CM
Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma has admitted that Meghalaya’s education sector has suffered for a long time, as a central government ranking of states has revealed.
But he said the investment made by the government in the last three years will take some time to yield results.
“We have a lot of priority to the education sector in the last two years and huge investments have been made,” Sangma said in reaction to the grading.
He said infrastructure has been the main area of concern because of which the government has been focussing on the sector in the last three years.
“Whether it is setting up 200 schools or having 500 in the pipeline, it takes time to see the impact of these investments,” the chief minister said.

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